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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  October 29, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard -- use their expertise to guide you through the strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small
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businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." hurricane sandy bears down on the u.s. east coast bringing with it walls of water and if he robberies winds. millions are in its -- and ferocious winds. nervous residents heed the warning to stay indoors. and with just weeks away until election day, sandy sends the presidential contest for a loop. no one wants to play politics in this storm. >> welcome to our viewers on
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public television in america and around the globe. hurricane sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the united states, is bearing down on the east coast. nine states stretching from north carolina to connecticut have declared a state of emergency. 50 million people live in the storm's path. usually bustling cities have been brought to a stand still. this is the scene in manhattan where a crane is dangling from a 65-story building. >> it's a monday morning in manhattan unlike any other. the city that's supposed to never sleep is eerily quiet, awaiting the storm. subway stopped. even wall street not trading. the -- >> we're used to coming down and the water calm, much, much slower. it's over the banks and the
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storm hasn't gotten here. it makes me nervous. >> the impact of hurricane sandy is starting to be felt. high winds and crashing waves along the east coast. >> good morning, america. breaking news on the halloween superstorm. >> morning tv shows left americans in in doubt the storm severity. >> 15 million people in its path. >> storm preparations take precedence over campaigning for next week's presidential election. mitt romney canceled his events for two days. barack obama returned to the white house. >> the center of the storm is going to hit landfall sometime this evening, but because of the nature of this storm, we are certain that this is going to be a slow-moving process through a wide swath of the country and millions of people are going to be affected. >> the holbrooke family are leaving nothing to chance as they prepare for the storm to
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do its worse. >> if we get a lot of water in the back yard it could lap over so we're going to sandbag that when we're done filling the up water here. we have a ton of food upstairs. most of it is nonperishable. if the refrigerator goes out we can eat for days. >> thousands of flights have been canceled, creating chaos for travelers. this family is from cornwall, making their first visit to new york, now won't be able to know when they'll get home. >> it was nothing on the radar when we left home. also the concern of delays going home later in the week. i think, yes, this is really quite anxious. we'd rather come at a different time. >> this is a once in a generation storm with the potential to kill and flatten. millions of americans embrace for the full impact. >> we go live to laura who is
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in brooklyn. earlier you were in manhattan. how have things changed recently? >> well, the wind is really picking up, and so have the rain. the east river where it meets the hudson river and the new york harbor, the water is beginning to rise. you see that storm surge. and that's even before the hurricane has made landfall, and that's even before the high tide here in new york, which isn't due until 9:00 tonight, not for another few hours. but remember we have high tide already, even before the hurricane, because it's a full moon. you have these strange astronomical high tide. it's weird confluence of events. and new york is really bracing itself for what this storm will bring. you can hear the sirens behind me. will it bring massive flooding? will it bring power outages? there are dedicated storm chasers out there but most of the city is inside hunkering down, bracing for what's to come. >> lawyer awe, we are -- laura,
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we're looking at the scene in new jersey, the waves coming your way are massive. what are people anticipating overnight in the city? >> well, i think the worst-case scenario overnight in the city is there will be flooding in all those low-lying coastal areas like the one where i am now which is supposed to have been evacuated. nearly 400,000 people who have been told to evacuate and the worry is there will be flooding of the subway, that could flood. the electricity substations in lower manhattan, they're underground for historic reasons, they could also flood. this could cause massive disruption to the city, so people on the edges of their seat just waiting for this to come. the worst of it will be overnight and when we wake up tomorrow morning we'll see what the storm has brought. >> it's amazing, laura, looking behind you a few seconds ago, there were people strolling along the edge of the river there. people are still out taking a
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look at this storm. are they safe? >> well, you know, there's really probably a couple hours to go until it actually reaches new york. worst of it is not -- officials have been coming up to us when we were broadcasting saying, you need to move, ladies. this is dangerous. it is dangerous. we were sitting in our car earlier and it was rocking from side to side. that's how strong the winds are. really only the fool hearted and dog walkers and the most dedicated storm chasers are out at the moment. winds up to 80 miles an hour are predicted. very dangerous, clearly, but not yet here. >> ok. and the most dedicated correspondent, make that man get his dog back inside. thank you so much in brooklyn. well, let's now go to the coast of new jersey which has been feeling the brunt of sandy since early this morning. ocean city and atlantic city already getting a lot of flooding. there is a mandatory evacuation
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in that area, but some people have decided to ignore those warnings. earlier i spoke to michelle, the executive director of the regional chamber of commerce in ocean city, new jersey. she said thousands of people delayed evacuating and now they're stuck on the island. how many people have been evacuated from there, michelle? >> most of the people have been evacuated. we're a small barrier island. during october we have a lot of people that are leaving anyway for the winter. we do have a lot of people, though, that have stayed, probably 8,000 people that have stayed due to they thought it wasn't going to be as bad as it is and then they were unable to get off the island. >> ok. we're looking live pictures of new jersey. the storm swell looks huge. what does it feel like to you when you look at your window? >> it's unbelievable. it really is. we're seeing swells on the water between 20 feet and further for -- with a beach,
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the waves. and wind gusts 60 and above and we're just starting to get the storm hitting our coastline. we know high tide is at 8:00 tonight. we're all just hoping for the best at this point. the streets are starting to get high -- reich a high tide again and we have two hours to go. >> we're seeing pictures of maryland. exactly the same scene. your husband is the mayor of ocean city. how nervous is he today, michelle? >> he was nervous. he was out and about making sure people that could get out at times were out. they were still evacuating people that wanted to leave. he was down there helping, doing that. a lot of businesses, too, helping boarding up that didn't have the proper stand-by for things locked up so he was out there doing that. very worried. this is a storm of a lifetime
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for us and we're just hoping and praying that everyone, you know, stays inside, takes notice not to go outside and beware of the next 12 hours are really important to ocean city, new jersey. >> ok. of course, more to come overnight, michelle, as those winds pick up. joining us from atlantic city -- ocean city. thank you very much. well, here in the nation's capital, the big affect from this storm. earlier today i went to the emergency office in washington, d.c.'s mayor, vincent gray, to hear about his plans to keep the city safe. mayor, i've been in the city 16 years and i've never seen washington looking and feeling like it does today. describe the mood in the city today for me. >> well, i think people are taking it seriously. this is a very serious, perhaps the most severe storm of this type that the city will ever experience. we've asked people to please get off the streets, stay off the streets, go home, stay
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home, and people really are adhering to those warnings. we appreciate that. and we're doing everything we can to try and prepare the city to be able to mitigate it. >> as mayor of the city, what are you most concerned about? >> well, i'm concerned of course about power outages and getting people's power restored as quickly as possible afterwards. the potential of flooding. we have areas where we know we have flooding even when we have serious rain. we worked hard. we have the sandbags out. 16,000 distributed across the city. we worked hard, also, to get leaves off the ground, if they back up, that will make the flooding problem even more severe. so we've done everything we can to mitigate those circumstances, again, the power outages, the trees coming down and potentially crashing into people's automobiles or into their cars and the potential -- >> is it a dangerous storm?
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>> it's a very dangerous storm. when you have winds predicted to be as much as 60 to 65 miles an hour, consequences could be quite severe. >> you are eight days away from a major presidential election. what kind of political impact could this hurricane have on it? >> well, you know, i think so many people pay so much attention to this election. it's actually hard to believe there are people still debating whether they're going to go for one or the other candidate. i think the storm, the consequences of the storm will have passed enough for people not to be impeded in terms of their ability to vote. i hope that's the case in other parts of the country. we hope this won't impede people to go out and vote. >> thank you very much. both mitt romney and barack obama have suspended their schedules just days before the
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voters make their choice. for more on the storm's impact on this race, i'm joined by the bbc north america editor in florida where president obama was supposed to be campaigning today and bridgette in cleveland, ohio, the state where governor romney was supposed to be stomping today. let's start with you in florida. i'm incredibly jealous. pouring with rain here in washington, d.c. it must feel a world away, both weather-wise and politically. >> yes, it does. we woke up here this morning thinking the president wag going to launch his campaign. we knew this was going to be a big moment with bill clinton rolling out the big guns, if you like, and that was all canceled rather suddenly just as we woke up. so it was really strange knowing he was flying back to cope with a crisis while the rally went on and the normal things you hear at these
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rallies, the political campaign was going on. and the storm was mentioned by bill clinton but really not heavily. only in passing. and i think people are obviously talking about it to a certain extent. it's not in the front of their minds. what it does politically, conventional campaigning has ceased. it takes the two candidates off the media. i don't think people will be interested in them anyway. the normal style of campaigning has stopped. i don't mean politics has stopped. i think this is an important political moment. but the normal stuff of campaigning is over for a few days at least. >> bridgette kendall in cleveland, ohio. ohio only on the edge of hurricane sandy but right at the center of america's political storm. what do they think the impact on mitt romney's campaign is going to be there?
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>> the winds and rain are rough here in cleveland. nothing like being experienced on the eastern seaboard but, yes, today there was a big drop . we were thinking mitt romney and his vice-presidential candidate, paul ryan, were determined to carry on campaigning even though the president was going back to washington and suddenly at midday trfs an announce from the campaigning, because of the sensitivity of millions of americans facing this emergency from the hurricane, mitt romney and paul ryan are canceling all their events for today and for tomorrow. and so it turns out this will be the last time that mitt romney will be seen on the stomp in public probably for a couple of days. so he's taking himself completely out of the picture. in ohio it's been clear from the speeches that they don't think they clinched -- this is
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a critical state. he needs ohio to become president. and these rallies are important to get people to talk to their friends and relatives to encourage them to vote or encourage them which from thinking they might vote for mr. obama to mr. romney and that doesn't seem to be happening right now. i think it ought to be hurting the campaign a bit. >> mark, very briefly. this is really a chance for the president to explore that illusive quality of presidential leadership in the campaign. >> this is what -- who deserves to be president. people are looking towards him, how does he lead, how does he speak for america? it's a real opportunity for him, but if he gets it wrong, that is a very big black mark just days away from the election. >> yeah, this storm, no one
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knows how it will play out politically. thank you both very much. you're watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program -- as china gets ready to hand over power to a new generation, the residents of one rural village talk about their expectations. >> a former bbc governor says that jimmy was kept away from children in need. jones, who was chairman of the charity, said he had suspicions about the former tv star a decade ago. his comments come on the day of whether the corporation's child protection and whistle blowing policies are respectable. david reports. >> a different is in need at the moment. >> thank you and thank you very much. >> back in the 1980's, jimmy -- >> here is the world famous -- >> but a few years later he was banned. quietly behind the scenes, the chairman of children in need
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decided to keep him away from the charity telethon. there were rumors, suspicions. >> some of the staff of the children in need were apprehensive. words like flicky were used. it's very important to me, it's important to the staff of the children in need. it's a wonderful charity. >> so there were doubts. new research suggests there has been a decline. the polling firm asked two questions. do you trust the bbc? and are you proud of it? and he compared it with figures compared back in 2009 and in both the figures have gone down. in terms of pride, 76% in 2009, 62% now. and do you trust the bbc? again, it's gone down. 62% to 45%, less than half of
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it. and it's restoring trust in inquiry which was beginning its work. >> i've been a -- >> to police the bbc, many new something. together they might have seen there was a pattern. david, bbc news. >> let's take a look at other news from around the world now. syrian state television is reporting that 10 people have died when a car bomb exploded in the suburb of demascus. it's believed children were among the dead. opposition activists say the syrian air force has launched attack on rebels. it's the largest air strike. it may be hard to believe today, but for several years syria was a refuge from violent. many iraqis escaped across the border and tried to make a life
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there. but as the war in syria escaladed, tens of thousands of iraqi families had to flee again, coming home to a country that's still not safe. dozens of civilians died from bomb attacks. now on what the refugees are returning to. >> now many families sought sanctuary in syria are back in baghdad after escaping for their lives. they're lining up to help them start again. stress has taken its toll on this person's health. and his children told me they wish iraq was safer. with no home to come back to, the whole family is now staying with relatives. he said he was forced to leave everything he had in baghdad
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when his younger brother was killed. >> it was the gun that ruled when i left. the americans were here and it was chaos. now some things are better, some are not. >> the capital of baghdad is a city on constant guard. a city choked by checkpoints. police and government officials are being assassinated virtually every day. and officials say al qaeda in iraq is now regrouping. after watching his brother die in front of him, he's struggling. a much-loved brother by a bomb captured by a bystander on a mobile phone. what happened that day in july still haunts him. >> i can't sleep, not a wink. our whole family has been destroyed, especially my mother. >> iraqi families are no longer
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couped up at home as they were in the darkest days of the civil war. but a power sharing agreement between shiites and even kurds has led to political pa rale cis, and sectarianism still lives below the surface here. -- paralysis and sectarianism still lives below the surface here. this is still a traumatized society, and there are now the war in syria could reignite sectarian tensions here. more than 200 civilians have already been killed in violence this month, and many here mourn the future they hoped for. >> the regional impact of the war in syria still not fully known. in just days, china is due to make an announcement which has huge implications for its future and for the rest of the world. the lineup of new leaders is due to be unveiled it he
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communist party congress that starts next week. it's a leadership change which only comes once every 10 years so every day this week our china correspondents will be reporting from different locations and look at the huge economic and social changes of recent years. martin starts us off with a village near the great wall. >> for centuries this village has lane in the shadow of the great wall. they've known hard times but they say the village has been transformed in the last decade. i feel like i'm living in heaven. in the past there was never enough food and we always went hungry. but now the government supports me although i'm not wealthy, i have more than enough. few young people work the land any more. many have higher paying jobs outside the village.
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some of them have become successful entrepreneurs. this man makes his money selling sausages and has spent $60,000 on building a new store. he says it's vital that the village continues to develop. >> everyone here wants to have more money and hopes our village becomes richer. it's important we keep developing so we're not laughed at by outsiders. >> life isn't always easy here, but the villagers have become used to these times. and the new leaders will be needing the expectations. >> and we will be happy to report from our correspondents all week from around china. and a quick look again at our main story before we go. hurricane sandy, which is now edging closer to the eastern
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seaboard of the united states, we've been given an advisory it will hit within the next few hours. you can see the picture there live from maryland. enormous waves. big winds packed into this storm, and the worst of it, of course, hasn't come. it will hit landfall in a few hours' time. it will be overnight before we see the worst of the damage. new york city normally bustling at this time of day, almost deserted in the streets. you can see a crane there on top of the 65-story building, clearly had some problems with the wind. and again we won't know the full impact of the storm for a few hours yet. but millions of people live in the path of hurricane sandy. tens of thousands are being told to evacuate. washington, d.c., i have to say, i have never seen the city looking like this, eerily quiet downtown. the streets totally deserted in the nation's capital, of course, we'll be getting the impact of that storm as well. that brings today's program to a close. of course, you can get update
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on this superstorm anytime you look on our website. if you want to find me, i'm on twitter @kattykay. see you back here tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at >> funding of this presentation has been made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newmans own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global
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network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> bbc world news was presented >> bbc world news was presented by kcet los angeles.
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